How does bad weather affect your eCommerce order delivery?

Weather Delay

Almost all retailers recognize the effect and impact of weather on their demand and delivery forecasts even if they are not able to predict them perfectly. Weather patterns all over the world can cause ripple effects when the packages are transported across different countries. Whether the packages are shipped by rail, road or by sea, the companies need to monitor and keep track of the weather with a plan. There are millions of pieces of packages being transported every day all over the world and a weather strike can cause an increase in cost.

In this article we will cover the primary ways in which bad weather affects your order-delivery:

  • Shipping Delays
  • Routing
  • Capacity limits
  • Being overstocked or understocked
  • Using seasonal forecast to drive sales

While moving packages overseas, weather can impact temperature and humidity and can rapidly impact the perishable items. Delays in ports can also prevent products from moving quickly. 

Here are some of the ways bad weather can affect your business:

1.      Shipping Delays

The inability to move certain packages will cause a delay in shipping to the destination point. The inability of the pickup truck to arrive at the location due to the bad weather will also cause a delay. A delay at one location will cause a delay or hold at the next location and this will, in turn, cause a chain reaction. This might cause high skewed and unpredictable delivery time. So, to minimize risks associated with the weather, one should have a plan for any potential issues or delays. Track your FedEx, UPS, or USPS packages in real-time.

2.      Routing:

The impact on the supply lines will affect the routing, which often depends on the specific needs of the client. They are evaluated cost against time with unexpected movements. Routes are moved through lanes which are previously agreed upon but there might be times when the lanes get closed due to poor weather. When this happens, you have to spend more resources to find alternatives and incur higher costs. Inturn, posing challenges in meeting deadlines. When there is a lane closure, the spot quote entering will face high demand and will drive up the prices.

3.      Capacity limits:

When the price of lane and spot quotes rise, they do not offer enough capacity to need the demand. This will not only cause delays but also reduce the supply capacity of the shipment. These limitations of the increased cost of shipment and the inability to deliver the required capacity cause problems to the shipper. There is also a risk of a supplier not bringing the goods to the transfer point on time. Which will cause the company to not be able to ship packages that will get to its endpoint in a timely manner.

4.      Being overstocked/understocked:

Staying updated on weather information and seasonal demand will allow you to stock packages according. But there are situations where your inventory team might not predict accurately. When you underestimate the weather’s impact and understock,  you will not be able to capitalize on the demand and lose out on sales. But if you overstock, especially in the case of perishable products, it will cause to incur loss due to spoilage.

5. Using seasonal forecast to drive sales 

Reviewing and understanding the weather forecast will allow the companies to have a plan in place if anything goes wrong. Having a reasonable timeline with reliability can help you commit to your customers with on-time delivery. Corporations like UPS and FedEx suspend deliveries when the weather conditions put their safety at risk. It is important to balance the safety of your employees while providing the best service to your customers. 

Continuous monitoring and regular updates with a real-time shipment tracker such as ShippingChimp can set the right delivery expectations for your shoppers.  If you can predict the risks, you will have a competitive advantage and deliver packages on time or as close as possible with a positive result. 

Final thoughts 

Bad weather does have an impact on the delivery of packages. However, having the most advanced logistics, great communication and accurate forecasting will help you with the last leg of the delivery of handing over the package to the customers. Shipping of packages on time is vital for the operations of many firms and they depend on the forecast to alleviate the effect of potential delays when transporting packages by land or by sea. There could be a lot more reasons for a package to be delivered late. Read them all here.

Revathi Karthik
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